Coffman - J.H. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Coffman - J.H.

John Henry Coffman

Source: Unknown

[J. H.]COFFMAN, lumber merchant, Crawfordsville, was born in Botetourt Co Va July 18, 1824. His father, Christopher Coffman, d. July 18, 1830 in his 65th year. Frequently in his life the latter boasted of being able to trace his lineage as far back as the 16th century to Catharine Von BORA the wife of Martin LUTHER whose mother was a Coffman. His mother, Margaret LOTTZ was a daughter of George Lottz, a native of Germany. Having married and wishing to escape conscription, he came to America and settled in Philadelphia. Soon the war for independence broke out and he enlisted under Washington, remaining with him till the close of the war, when he removed to Augusta Co, Va. There he bought a large tract of land, and raised his family and d. in 1850 at the age of 104 years. After the death of the father of JH Coffman, the mother, with her family, returned to Augusta Co, Va where she had been raised. Here the subject of this sketch spent his winters in school and summers in fishing, hunting and other sports. At the age of 16 beginning to entertain concern for the future battles of life, he entered Shemaria Va. He next entered and completed a three years' course in the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Lexington SC. After graduating he settled in Salisbury, NC, and soon engaged in the book and stationery business. About this time he was married to Elizabeth Ann LOCKE, daughter of Richard Locke of Rowan Co. She had one son, Harry Locke, but in less than 18 months after married, mother and son were laid side by side in the Salisbury Cemetery.  His second wife was a Miss Margaret C. ANDERSON, whose mother was the daughter of Capt. John DICKEY, who greatly distinguished himself in the American Revolution and was alluded to by Wheeler a southern historian as the "hero of King's Mountain." By this marriage, two children were born: Bettie Virginia (Minnie) and Margaret Catharine (Maggie). Minnie died a short time since in Kansas, Illinois, at the interesting age of 20. Maggie is living at home. In 1854 Mr. Coffman returned with his two children to his native state and settled in Rockbridge County, where he again married. This third choice was Miss Martha P(endleton) EADS, daughter of John W. and Catharine Eads. Mr. Eads was of French extraction and Mrs. Eads was a daughter of a Scotch DOUGLAS family, and cousin of Stephen A. Douglas. Mr. Coffman's family by his third marr. is four children, 3 of whom are dead and one, Samuel M, living and now at Wabash College in the class of 1882. When the civil war came Mr. Coffman was bitterly opposed to secession, but when his state withdrew from the Union he clasped hands with her, and enlisted in Co. I, 4th Vir. reg in the Stonewall brigade. He followed Jackson in most of his marches and participated in his battles till at Cedar Creek, Oct 19, 1865 he was badly wounded and sent home. He rejoined his regiment in the spring of 1865 at Petersburg. In a heavy engagement before Petersburg, a few days before the evacuation of Richmond, he was captured and taken to Lookout, where he was kept till June 15, when he was sent home. In the spring of 1866 he removed his family to Kansas, Illinois, and lived there 11 years, and then came to Crawfordsville in the spring of 1877. Mr. C. at once entered a copartnership with Isaac M. KELSEY in the lumber business. At the close of the first year, Mr. K. retiring, the business was carried on by Mr. C. alone. He then took as a partner J. L. WILLIAMS an experience lumberman and who had been with Mr. Kelsey, his father-in-law, several years, the firm becoming Coffman & Williams. The new firm began business together Feb 10, 1879 and on the night of July 29 following lost their stock by fire. Although partly secured by insurance they lost heavily. However, they immediately made a new start and now carry a business second to none in the city. Their headquarters are near the New Albany depot, N. Green St and Mr. Coffman's residence is 21 W. Main St. Mr. Coffman's parents were members of the Methodist Church, while he and his family belong to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Crawfordsville.

Note: He died October 26, 1904 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County Indiana - Military stone - Pvt Co I 4th Va Inf CSA
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